Monday, October 26, 2015

I admire Cardinal Pell

I admire Cardinal Pell. During the Synod he acted with great courage. For many of us he acts as a sign that people like him still have a place in the Church, Here, he gives an orthodox reading of the Synod's final document's more contentious passages, of course not everyone will understand them as Pell does, and probably they are not meant to be read in this light.

Rome can be pretty vindictive place, especially nowadays. I suspect that grubbing around in the vaults of Vatican banking, he has discovered enough to ensure that his back is well protected.
All of my parishioners are pretty unique and I had a long telephone call from one yesterday who had been following Synod, she read the documents in Italian, and came up with the opposite reading of Cardinal Pell. Her concern was whether she could in conscience remain in the Church, she seemed to have Archbishop's Cupich's understanding of conscience. Like this writer she too was fed up with nagging and felt it was all aimed at her.

Considering that he had stuffed the Synod with members who would hate all that Pell stood for, this will be the understanding Pope Francis will eventually take. It is precisely because of the Pope's own packing of the Synod with his liberal nominees that I think the Synod was a victory for Catholics and a defeat for Liberalism, especially as Catholics, bishops especially, by instinct want to be in the Pope's party.

Practically all of those delegates elected by Episcopal Conferences seemed to hold a more or less Catholic position, whilst many of the Papal nominees did not. Having followed the Synod reasonably closely, I am beginning to have an increased respect for world's bishops, many might be badly formed but I am an old 'traddie', I believe the sacraments have an effect, which can be resisted, but once a man is ordained bishop, he tends to act as one.

For the good of the Church, I have two hopes for the next few months, first that the Pope looks to the unity of the Church, which has been seriously damaged recently, and secondly, that he finds an alternative to his negative carping and condemnatory style - anyone want to start a petition?

Pope Francis delivers his speech during a special audience he held for members of Catholic medical associations


Gregkanga said...

Cardinal Pell is truly a shepherd after the heart of Christ, he was one of a very few of the entire Bishop's Conference who publicly supported Fr John Speekman when he was removed first by the late bishop Jeremiah Coffey and later by his successor, Archbishop Christopher Prowse, currently the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn archdiocese. While the case was at the Apostolic Signatura it was Cardinal Pell who gave Fr Speekman a parish in Sydney and looked after him, when everyone else in the hierarchy shunned him. He was a lone voice for along time against the 'primacy conscience' hierarchical club in Australia. I admire his courage and love him.

Leo Flanagan said...

And I, as a fellow traddie, admire him as well.

''Rome can be pretty vindictive place, especially nowadays''

Didn't someone say it was best not to look too hard into the barque of Peter's engine room.

Good advice , especially now.

Nicolas Bellord said...

We certainly live in interesting times. Reading George Weigel's translation of the three paragraphs of the final document which dealt with the divorced and remarried they really are a dog's dinner. No wonder one of them only scraped through by only one vote despite the packing of the Synod with liberals by his Holiness. So what will his Holiness do now? He must realise that the these three clauses got by far the most non-placet votes of the whole Synod and therefore they must be seen as being on the edge of orthodoxy. But will he realise this or will come up with a more liberal line in his exhortation?

Unknown said...

So, all this fuss. Nothing changed.

Did they do anything to help people form and maintain good families in the first place? I'm hoping there will be something in the full document (when it appears in English). That would have been a positive thing to do. Or was it really just about dealing with messy situations which should never have happened?

JARay said...

I have long been a strong supporter of Cardinal Pell. Not only is he an Aussie (as am I, by being one of those Poms who emigrated from England some 40 years ago) but he is solidly Catholic and speaks nothing but sound Catholic doctrine. I also support his replacement as Archbishop of Sydney.

JARay said...

p.s. I am glad to read Gregkanga's comment. I know nothing about the machinations of the Eastern States. I am a Sandgroper.

viterbo said...

The synod seems to be much like the interview between Dawkins and Pell. A foregone cringe conclusion that the dissolvers of Christ and innovators of Church were equally right = a lie. If Christ had established a rock of fence sitters or revolutionaries...nothing to see here folks.

gemoftheocean said...

I'm just happy the Argentine Rugby team lost on Saturday.

Liam Ronan said...

Bergolio has driven me back to the Scripture and Patristics. Not a bad result for me, and if you will graciously bear with me, I'd like to share a few citations which strike me as apropos to the moment:

"Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Colossians 3:21

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair..." 2 Corinthians 4:8

"I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive." Romans 16:17-18

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." 1 Corinthians 14:33

David O'Neill said...

Having listened to the sermon & watched Dr Rao on 'Rorate Coeli' I feel less content with the position of the tradition of the Church. Cardinal Pell tries to explain what we might believe from the Synod but it does seem (as you rightly say Father) that the make-up of the Synod was loaded in favour of, if not total agreement with Cardinal Kasper et al, at least a position from which they could twist the doctrine of the Church to suit their purposes. The sermon, in particular, gives all of us (and I admit to being a real sinner) the reason why we must not rely totally on the mercy of the Lord but must also remember the justice of Him. We must accept that it is our ways which must change & not the doctrine of the Church however much it is twisted by (as Dr Rao calls them) 'neo-Catholics'.
God's mercy can only be relied on if we submit to His justice by confessing our sins in honesty & seeking His mercy in the confessional.
The fact that even the Pope might declare through the Synod that divorced & remarried Catholics can approach the sacraments cannot dilute the doctrine of the Church as laid down by Jesus Christ the Second Person of the Tri-une God.

Genty said...

The tenor of the answers given on radio his morning by UK Cardinal Vincent Nichols slavishly followed the Francis line. The inference meant to be drawn was that never before in its history had the Catholic Church shown mercy to those with 'difficulties'. We are not out of the thicket of thorns by a long way.

Steve Calovich said...

"The rebellion must come...stand fast and hold to tradition..." 2 Thess 2

Chris said...

I am fed up with the lack of focus on practical issues which face your average Catholic family. For example, getting your teenage children to Mass on Sundays or supporting such families with one non-Catholic parents.

Jacobi said...

We must I suppose await the final document. However it can now be objectively said that,

The synod was unnecessary.

It has added nothing to Catholic comprehension which was not already there.

Probably not one opinion has been changed

Those who want to go their own way such as the heretical Germanic bishops will do so, emboldened by what they will interpret, as a green light.

Confusion is greater than ever amongst the laity - or at least that 15-20% of the laity who care or even know that there has been a Synod.

And meanwhile, the Secular world goes its own way, having had a little PC smile and giggle at those old greybeards, while the Catholic Church, its laity and clergy continues to head unchecked down the plug-hole from internal collapse, while it contracepts itself out of existence,(carefully unremarked upon by the priest on Sunday, I mean that would never do now, would it?), 1,8 against 2.1, and is assaulted externally everywhere, as the most persecuted religion in the world, nearly eliminated in the Biblical Lands and while Islam pours into what once was Catholic Europe hell-bent on establishing the Caliphate and Sharia in the next 10/15 years.

The old Chinese curse has definitely come home to roost. We most certainly do live in interesting times.

Cosmos said...

The Synod should have said something like this:

(1) It's extremely hard to be Catholic nowadays. Institutions that could once be trusted to uphold basic natural law no longer can be. And there is great pressure from international organizations to abandon the morality demanded by the faith. It seems everywhere that past assumptions and certainties are unraveling.

(2) The Church, previously insistent on constant dialogue, now counsels the families under its care to re-focus on prayer, simple generous living, and preaching through an example of sacrificial love of all members of the family, both nuclear and extended.

(3) First and foremost, the Church urges her members to turn off the TVs and radios, and exercise much more careful discernment when it comes to the information they are consuming. Mass media, despite all its immense promise and benefits, has become a direct means for propaganda for the enemies of Our Lord. We must be vigilant.

(4) The family should not be ashamed of the Order that God created. We must always love all those put in our path with an open an merciful heart, but remember true mercy must correspond to Truth, and that Christ is Truth. To love your neighbor means to teach them to be Christ's disciple!

etc., etc.

Romulus said...

As a better pope said, " mi sbaglio mi corigerete". I can't think of a better time.

Sandpiper said...

That seems a no-brainer if those teenagers are yours. You, as head of household set the rules. Every minor or dependent living under a Catholic roof abides by the rules of mandatory mass attendance on Sunday. Do you feel you must cajole your teenagers? If yes, you have been remiss in their formation.

Tell them as long as they live under your roof, they will attend Sunday Mass.

To show them you are a realist, tell them that once they move out, you will have no control over their spiritual life, but as a loving parent, who cares for their souls, there are some non-negotiables.

Simple Simon said...

For me, the arch villain is Pope Francis. By his words and by his deeds, by what he has done and by what he has failed to do, by what he has said and what he has failed to say, he has made his position absolutely clear. Communion for the divorced and remarried, acceptance of homosexual lifestyle, autonomy for local churches, acceptance of co-habiting - all of these things have been put forward by bishops and cardinals from camp Bergoglio. He has never uttered one word of correction to any of them before during or after the Synod Those who defend the tradition and respect the Magisterium of JP11 and Benedict are designated proud doctors of the law astride the seat of Moses etc. As long as Francis is Pope, his parcel of rogues will continue to work for their heretical agenda. I had hoped and prayed that Pope Francis would have been actually called out by a majority of the Synod Fathers. It was not to be. Whatever Francis writes in response to the Synod, my guess is that it will be same old same old. It has been rumnoured that Francis' official response to the Synod has already been written in advance. If so, it may be released on All Hallows, or Guy Fawkes night. And meetings of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales will, in honour of Cardinal Nichols be renamed 'Nuancing in the Aternoon' It is all utterly heartbreaking. Two faiths now exist among Catholics. They cannot co- exist. Something will have to give. Funny thing about mercy. Camp Bergoglio do not go around praying 'Jesus I trust in You'Too much like JP11 for them. They put their trust in power play, manipulation, control freakery disingenuity. Thus in the final analysis, doom awaits them all.

BJC said...

My personal favourite was the 'rosary counters' remark. It's the sort of thing you think might hear from a Rangers supporter in a rough pub in Glasgow; but this was the Pope. You wonder if even Tablet journalists would go that far in private; but he said it in public!

Dread to think what he might come up with in his action plan. He's already demonstrated (and admitted to) an authoritarian streak and one wonders whether he's going to go for broke. He just seems determined to break the mould.

Keith said...

Pride and fear are tied together. In our hearts we know that we are not worthy of the love of our Father. We also know that only through the grace and truth of our Lord Jesus Christ will be made worthy. We know this, but are afraid, and blind. How is possible that God the Father, sent His dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ to free us from the sin and death. Around us we see sin, death, and trouble. Blinded by fear, by pride, by sin we have no power to overcome. Through Christ all good things are possible, but we doubt. Do we see the Popes speech about the Apostles not being bothered by the blind man as an attack against faithful Catholics, as a cry for help, as ironic? With what eyes do we see our brothers and sisters? Consider this, God allows His children to be chastised for their good. If the Pope was chastising Catholics who believe in the Word of God, then God is calling us to not be afraid, and through Christ to overcome our fear and pride. We are all wretched apart from the Way, the Truth, and the Life. With pure, meek, and humble hearts we are called to walk by faith, not by worldly sight. We have not been left orphans, our hope is not in vain, and the Love of Christ Jesus desires to shine through us. May we consent. Many of our shepherds see with worldly eyes in doubt, in fear, and in pride. They can't evangelize the Gospel because they don't believe that Christ is able to free us from sin. We must love everyone. We must love all of our priest, bishops, and Popes. We need to build one another up, and encourage one another in the Truth, empowered by the Holy Spirit, abiding in the Love of Christ our King. Lord Jesus Christ, meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.

Keith said...

Father Blake,

My comment was meant for your commentary on the latest post by Michael Voris. I listened to the homily made by Pope Francis on 10-25-15, after reading that post by Voris on Pope Benedict and Saint John Paul II. Anyway, God bless you Father Blake.

Gregkanga said...

JARay, maybe you and some other commentators should subscribe to Into the Deep at to kept abreast of Catholic matters in the Church in the Eastern part of Australia, it's free.
During the Fr Speekman saga, which Into the Deep has systematically recorded, we (the editor and I ) through ITD mixed with 3 congregations of the Vatican. What a mess, we discovered chaos reigns supreme.
Many Church leaders and Christians in general, forget that it was the Catholic Christian Faith which created Western European culture. (There is a corollary to this: if the contemporary version of Western European culture is in a mess and no longer strikes us as particularly admirable, it is because it has been unfaithful to its original inspiration and is becoming increasingly unfaithful to it.) To put it in a nutshell, the world is in a mess because the great family that is the Church is in a mess.

geneticallycatholic said...

Father, you said " I am beginning to have an increased respect for world's bishops, many might be badly formed but I am an old 'traddie', I believe the sacraments have an effect, which can be resisted, but once a man is ordained bishop, he tends to act as one." .... so, my question is, what about Pope Francis? Have the sacraments had an effect on him? Or is he resisting them?

I have been reading the comments on many blogs regarding the Synod's final report. A lot of them are negative. For myself, I think the orthodox bishops- short of walking out, as per the petition(cough)- , did a fantastic job. They, as Cardinal Pell said, worked incredibly hard.

These bishops were given a document written by Pope Francis' appointees. Even then the bishops fought to not approve the controversial paragraphs. These paragraphs only got enough votes, -again, because of Pope Francis' appointees, who voted in favour. I honestly don't know what more these bishops could have done, short of walking out.

As such, I too, respect what these bishops have accomplished when faced with a highly stacked deck against them. I thank them for their hard work.

I will continue saying my rosary, now for all clergy (of every rank in the Church's hierarchy, including Pope Francis). I will also educate my self even more on Catholic teaching, such as the role of conscience that if I meet anyone who is confused about the results of the Synod, I will be able to enlighten them about what the Church has always taught and will always teach, in fidelity to Our Lord Jesus.

And last, but not least, Fr. Blake, thank you for your synod coverage. Much appreciated.

viterbo said...

@Gem. There is always some comfort!

Chris said...

I take it you from what you have said that you do have children.

Chris said...

Thank you for that useless piece of advice. I obviously have to try harder. Meanwhile give me a ring if you spot a teenager in your local Church.

Fred Brown said...

It’s ironic that Cardinal Pell in trying to explain that there is clarity and truth does so in such a grey manner

Fred Brown said...

It is not over. This is merely the time of preperation...From the Guidlines

"Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.
One year to work on the “Synodal Relatio” which is the faithful and clear summary of everything that has been said and discussed in this hall and in the small groups. It is presented to the Episcopal Conferences as “lineamenta” [guidelines].